Saturday, September 25, 2010


I wish I had time to read stuff other than about electrophysiological auditory testing and how to set up soundproof booths and how to analyse speech sonograms and background reading on my research project for next year.


PS, To anyone that actually does read my reviews, "Wicked Appetite" by Janet Evanovich is awesome so far. She is so fun. I will post a review if I finish it sometime in the next millenium.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tomorrow When the War Began movie!

I feel I need to write a blog post about this movie, seeing as the books are by my favourite author of all time and I’ve seen it three times already. Plus, I keep incessantly commenting on everyone else’s updates about it! I read Tomorrow When the War Began in 1994 for the first time, six months or so after it’s release. I was lucky that I read So Much To Tell You in 1993 and found my favourite author so early, otherwise I might have had that dreaded experience of reading Tomorrow When the War Began in English in Year 8 as my first Marsden introduction.

I bought the entire series in hardcover (including Tomorrow because the paperback was yet to be released at that stage) and then, as the paperbacks were released, did the really stupid thing of buying them and getting rid of my hardcovers. I don’t like hardcover books, I find them frustrating to read. If I buy them, I will always replace them with the paperback when it’s released. People think I’m insane for this. I really, really regret getting rid of my hardcovers of this series, though. Not because I would sell them but because they mean so much to me even after all these years. I own the Ellie Chronicles in hardcover and paperback; I think the covers of those are really pretty. I also have the "adult cover" of When the War Began in paperback from 1995 (apparently they didn't think adults needed the "Tomorrow" in the title), which I adore. It helps that my brother went and had this signed by John Marsden for me years ago ("Dear Linda, take risks! John Marsden") when I couldn't go to meet him doing a signing in a bookstore.

I don’t think I have ever been so happy (and relieved) about a movie adaptation in my entire life. I knew John Marsden had said he was happy with it, so I wasn’t TOO concerned going in. Not that your expectations are necessarily the same as the author’s because your imaginations are different, but it was at least reassurring that he was happy with how it turned out. Particularly considering John Marsden has been getting offers for movies/TV shows/mini-series for more than ten years and has apparently turned down something like 130 offers.

I won’t babble too much about it (because otherwise we’d be here all day), but I thought it was absolutely fantastic. The characters were great, the acting was a lot better than I was expecting, and the action was awesome. It was true to the book without being a direct translation (which in my experience doesn’t tend to work so well). Small things were changed, but nothing major. (I actually find some of the small things they changed kind of odd - like the snake being in Kevin's sleeping bag instead of Homer's, etc.) Wirrawee was perfect, I thought. Hell was different to what I'd imagined, but still so pretty. My favourite character from the start of reading the books was Homer. As we got further into the stories, Fi became my favourite character because of the amount that she changed and became who she did. I thought Homer in the movie was brilliant; definitely my favourite actor. Fi showed promise in the latter half of the movie of becoming the Fi that I love. I also LOVED the all-Australian soundtrack; I’m really pleased they did that.

I really hope they make more movies, at least the first three. I think The Third Day, the Frost would make the most amazing movie with all the action in it. When I was 14 (also the year the Tomorrow series finished), I decided I wanted to get a John Marsden book related tattoo if I still wanted it at 21. (This was my stipulation for all my tattoo ideas as a teenager, haha.) It was actually the first tattoo I thought about. I couldn’t decide between the words, “darkness be my friend” or the words “the other side of dawn”. Darkness Be My Friend is my favourite Tomorrow series book, but I fell in love with the title of The Other Side of Dawn when I first heard about it. I’m not sure why I never really thought about getting So Much To Tell You. Anyway, I think Dawn has won for a few years now but we’ll see what fits where I want it :)

Between the movie and John Marsden commenting on my blog entry a few months ago, this is has been a pretty awesome Marsden year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favourite Author Focus: Chuck Palahniuk

Oh, Chuck. Sometimes I love you, sometimes I don’t even like you. But when I love you, I REALLY love you.

It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

The first book I ever read by Chuck Palahniuk was Choke, which is an... interesting introduction to a somewhat controversial author. Controversial not entirely because of the content of his stories (although there is that, too), but also because a lot of people have issues with his originality. For me, though, his books were different to anything else I had read before. I adore the way he writes in his early work, the way he uses language, and the crazy things that happen in his books. However, there is not many people I know that would like his writing. (But then, I know a lot of people that don’t like things that are a little ‘different’.)

Nothing shows you the straight line from here to death like a list.

Most people would know of him through the fact that he wrote Fight Club, which was later turned into an awesome movie with Brad Pitt and the amazing Edward Norton. I love this movie; I have seen it more than almost any other movie in my life. This is one of the only cases where I love the movie and the book and I saw the movie first. But both are fantastic and entertaining and, dare I say it, original.

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

Invisible Monsters is my favourite and most likely always will be. There are some things in that book that really get to me on a personal level; if it weren’t for that, I’d say Survivor would be my favourite of his books. Apparently Invisible Monsters was rejected from being published for being ‘too disturbing’ and was only accepted after the success of Fight Club. That is bizarre to me. I was the biggest wuss at 15 and I still loved that book. Notice how I’m not saying any storylines? I don’t want to without spoiling the endings because that’s half the point of Chuck’s stories. Think of Fight Club, if you’ve seen it. If you know the end before you’ve seen it once, the brilliance is kind of lost. If you don’t like reading about violence, sex, drugs, swearing, death, and (particularly) fragmented trains of thought, his books may not be for you.

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.

Lullaby was the end of a flawless ride with Chuck. I hated that book and still do. I couldn’t even finish it and there has been maybe ten books in my entire life that I have completely given up on and never returned to. Since then, it’s been a bit up and a down. Diary was a big improvement on Lullaby for me, Haunted was a bit different, Rant was awesome, Snuff was blah, I don’t plan to read Pygmy but I do plan to read Tell-All as I have a reader’s copy. So we’ll see how that goes. But I still consider Chuck to be a favourite author of mine for his pre-Lullaby books and their brilliance.

Who you are, moment to moment, is just a story.

PS, Usually I like to post the book covers of the versions that I read/own but I cannot for the life of me find the covers of Choke or Survivor that I read. Grr.